Welcome to Oymyakon, a remote Siberian village located in Oymyakonsky District in the Republic of Sakha in northeast Russia. Recently, the village is in the news as the thermometer, which was installed as a tourist attraction, has broken as its temperatures plunged to near-record depths. The public device just broke as the temperatures plunge to -62°C. It is said that some locals had readings as low as -67°C – in touching distance of the record -67.7°C, which was logged in the village in February 1933.
In this post, we take a look at some of the interesting facts about the coldest village on earth.
1. Oymyakon is known as the Northern ‘Pole of Cold’.
2. It is named after the Oymyakon River, whose name reportedly comes from the Even word kheium, meaning ‘unfrozen patch of water’.
However, according to other sources, the Even word heyum (hэjум) (kheium may be a misspelling) means ‘frozen lake’.
3. The village stands approximately 750 meters above sea level.
4. The settlement originally developed as a stopover for reindeer herders who came to water their animals at the spring.
5. The length of its days vary from three hours in December to 21 hours in June.
6. Winters in Oymyakon are long and excessively cold.
However, summers are mild to warm, and sometimes become hot. In June, July and August, temperatures over 30 °C (86 °F) are not rare during the day.
7. Sometimes summer months can also be quite cold, but June and July are the only months where the temperature has never dropped below −10 °C (14 °F).
8. On February 6, 1933, a temperature of −67.7 °C (−89.9 °F) was recorded at Oymyakon’s weather station.
This was the coldest officially recorded temperature in the Northern Hemisphere.
8. Oymyakon and Verkhoyansk are the only two permanently inhabited places in the world that have recorded temperatures below −60.0 °C (−76 °F) for every day in January.
9. The village has a population of about 500 people. Despite the harsh conditions, life is pretty normal there.
10. The villagers survive the winters, which drop to an average of -50°C in January and February, largely by burning wood and coal for warmth.
11. Street vendors have no need to refrigerate their fish as the air temperature is enough to keep them safe from rotting away.
12. Oymyakon is served by just the one shop and its solitary school only shuts if temperatures dip below -52°C.
13. The remote Siberian village is considered to be the coldest permanently inhabited settlement in the world.
14. The public thermometer, which was installed as a tourist attraction, recently just broke as the temperatures plunge to -62°C.
15. The cold in Oymyakon make the whole village look like a winter wonderland.